At least five gay men have been killed over the last 18 months in cases that bear striking similarities, reported The Star. All of the victims were found bound and strangled "with police recording no signs of forced entry." Several victims had online dating profiles, giving rise to speculation that they were targeted via cyberspace.
There is no serial killer, police tell News24.
"We are not looking at one specific person... cases are being investigated individually and progress has been made in some," Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said on Tuesday. He said it was impossible for one individual to have been responsible for all the killings.
"A man was already on trial in the South Gauteng High Court for one of the killings, while two Zimbabwean men were being extradited for another murder. Police had leads for suspects in other killings too," Dlamini said.
Let's hope that true. The police response so far has not inspired much confidence. Detectives in Johannesburg lost valuable video surveillance footage of the latest victim seen with an unknown man shortly before his death.
Despite being the only African nation where same-sex marriage is legal—and boasting the world's only constitution where equality in sexual orientation is specified—the reality is much different for many Black South Africans. Life in the impoverished townships is far less tolerant.
South Africa boasts the world's highest rates of crime rates and rape. Brutal so-called "corrective rape" and murder are increasing against lesbians in South Africa's townships, as well as rape and attacks against gay men. Police are often criticized for ignoring the attacks or poor detective work.
In May 2011, the RSA government announced that it would establish a task force to address the escalating incidents of anti-LGBT attacks in its nation.
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